Thinking and Stress

Stress Management

About Stress

Types of Stress

Managing Stress

You can rest assured that if you devote your time and attention to the highest advantage of others, the Universe will support you always and only in the nick of time.

R. Buckminster Fuller

Is stress making it hard to focus and concentrate?

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Thinking and Stress

Thoughts are ever-present in our minds. Sometimes you may find it very easy to concentrate your attention; however, at other times, especially when under stress, focusing and concentration seem very difficult. The mind tends to wander. At times, our thoughts may be so overpowering that they easily cloud our awareness of the present.

You can experience the activity of your mind for yourself, right now, by doing the following:

Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breathing. Don't try to control your breathing—just let it happen and be aware of it, feeling how it feels, as it flows in and out. Try to watch your breath this way for three minutes. When you have finished the three minutes, notice how much or how little your mind wandered away from your breathing.

If you begin to pay attention throughout the day to where your mind is from moment to moment, chances are you will find that considerable amounts of your time and energy are expended in clinging to memories, being absorbed in reverie, and regretting things that have already happened and are over. And you will probably find that as much or more energy is expended in anticipating, planning, worrying and fantasizing about the future and what you want to happen or don't want to happen.

According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, this inner busy-ness, which is going on almost all the time, makes us liable to either miss a lot of the texture of our life experience or to discount its value and meaning.

If you tend to worry a lot, especially during a crisis, you can ask yourself the following questions:

What is the worst that could happen? Look honestly at reality and identify the worst possible outcome.

Think about what it is you fear. Remember, many times, these events are experiences that you have had and have gone through in life several times before.

Then ask:

How likely is it that the worst will happen? Assign a percentage to the probability that it will occur.

Could you handle it, should the worst happen? Ask yourself, "What will I do?"

Can you picture yourself handling the situation? This step allows you to become more proactive today.



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